The Welsh Government’s Jobs Growth Wales programme has opened the door to a dream career for Marc Pugh where he can indulge his passion for working with horses.
Marc, 20, from Llanfaredd, near Builth Wells, has helped expand the business since joining director Nicky van Dijk’s team at Happy Horse Retirement Home at Crai, near Brecon where he has been promoted to assistant yard manager.
Such is his commitment to the company, which provides a haven for owners to retire their beloved horses, that he made a 72-mile return journey on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to monitor and nurse sick horses.
The company recruited Marc to develop the business, which has grown 20 per cent in three years. A horse owner since the age of five, he achieved an extended Diploma in Horse Management with a distinction at North Shropshire College’s Walford campus before beginning his career.
Marc has been recognised for his success by being shortlisted for the Jobs Growth Wales Outstanding Achiever Award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes.
Funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.
After achieving a Foundation Apprenticeship in Horse Care and Riding and British Horse Society Riding and Road Safety qualification, Marc was retained and promoted when his Jobs Growth Wales programme ended.
He has progressed to an Apprenticeship in Horse Care and Riding through the Welsh Government’s Young Recruits Programme, has achieved the British Horse Society’s stage three qualification and aims to become a qualified riding instructor. His learning provider is Cambrian Training Company.
“I’ve listened to my mentor/trainer Nicky and proved to myself and my parents that I’m focused on my future,” said Marc, who has a reputation for staying calm in a crisis. “I’ve achieved goals that I thought I could never do.”
Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Oliver and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. We are proud to be delivering a number of successful vocational training programmes with success rates for apprenticeship in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.
“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional learners here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their learners.”